Chewing comes naturally to dogs. They love to chew on shoes, furniture and pretty much anything they can get their teeth into. They start when they’re a puppy and dealing with teething issues – chewing helps soothe their painful gums – and don’t stop. Ever! All we can say is, thank goodness for dog chews! And it’s not just because they help us keep our possessions safe. Here are five reasons chews are good for your dog:

Keeps their jaw healthy and teeth clean

Just like chewing gum helps us humans exercise our jaws and keep our teeth clean (as long as we stick with sugar-free gum), chews give dogs’ jaws a good workout and help with their oral hygiene. Dogs who chew regularly on rawhides, bones and toys have less plaque and tartar build-up on their teeth.

Satisfies their need to chew

Satisfies their need to chewAs we mentioned before, dogs need to chew. It’s part of their physical makeup. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a mix of chew toys and edible chews on hand. Fortunately there are plenty of chews available in stores and online that you can give your dog to gnaw on. For instance, when your pooch is in a playful mood, try a chew toy like one from KONG. We like their Dental Stick, which is good for chew sessions and also games of fetch. If your pooch just wants to chill out, give her an edible chew. We recommend the new Buffalo Range All Natural Buffalo Rawhide Chews, which are hormone-free, fully digestible, high in protein – and they’re slowly basted in a hickory smoked flavor your dog is sure to love.

Provides mental stimulation

dog running on grassAt some point in the day you pooch is going to become bored. Probably after he’s been for a walk, eaten breakfast, played with his toys and had a nap. He needs some mental stimulation! You could try teaching him chess like this guy. But it’s so much easier to give him a chew. And yes, it will stimulate him mentally because chewing requires a lot of concentration. A few words of caution: Choose a size that is slightly larger than your dog’s mouth to prevent her from gulping down the whole chew or biting off and swallowing pieces of it, which could cause her to choke. We also recommend you supervise your dog anytime you give her chews.

Keeps them calm in stressful situations

puppy-playing-with-rubber-footballIf your dog gets anxious when you have visitors or during fireworks celebrations, put them in a quiet room where they will feel safe and give them a chew to distract them from the noise. If you’re not in the room with them, keep checking to make sure they’re okay and if the chew gets too moist, take it away (you can give it to them again once it hardens).

Makes them happy

And that’s our main goal in life as pet parents, don’t you agree?